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  • #31
    Originally posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Doucet.....
    He maybe one of the old school that does not come around much anymore.


    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Combo department.

    170 square miles w/ 6 stations plus a 7th station covering a 24-square mile National Guard Facility.

    M-F 7-5 (1) Career shift firefighter, one daytime position staffed by volunteers, full-time Deputy Chief and myself.

    Weekend days - one shift firefighter and 2 daytime positions staffed by volunteers

    5PM-7AM every night - one shift firefighter.

    All staffing is at Central Station. All other stations volunteer.

    Crew from Central leaves with what they have which may or may not include paid staffing as they may be elsewhere in the district doing station maintainence, as an example, or some of the paid staffing may be tied up at public education or out of the district at training or meetings.

    Volunteer rideout staffing may range from 0 to 8 or 9, depending on time of day.

    Qualified drivers will coordinate by radio as far as getting trucks up from the vollie stations.

    All non-drivers or drivers not near stations go to the scene POV.

    In the process of (wasting our money) adding a second shift firefighter per shift.
    You can do your part whenever you have the nerve.

    LaFireEducator-"Hey Chief I have a plan."
    Chief-"What's that Bob?"
    LaFireEducator-"I am going to train all of the volunteers and recruit additional instructors and donate my pay back to the department. What do you think about that?"
    Chief-"That is a noble act, but why would you do that?"
    LaFireEducator-"Spending money on firefighter's salaries is a waste of money and I want to do my part to reduce "wasting our money"."
    Chief-"Wow, what a guy. Went can you make the change?"
    LaFireEducator-"Will the department take a personal check?"

    How about a vote. How many here believe LaFireEducator will put his wallet where his beliefs are, and not take any pay for what is now a career position in his department?
    I vote "NO" he does not have the nerve.

    Comment


    • #32
      LaFire, I usually try to stay out of some of the ******ing matches you seem to get involved in (because I do agree with some of the points you make), but why in the world would you have a problem with adding a paid position to the department? I'm as dedicated as any other volunteer but the days of the all-volunteer department are fading. There are too many communities (my own included) who rely WAY too heavily on the free labor of volunteers. In a perfect world every fire department would consist of on-duty paid staff manning the station. Of course we know that's not possible or feasible in every jurisdiction, but any small step made in that direction should be viewed as an attempt at improvement.


      At this time we are averaging 23 members per structure fire. That number is over 30 for structure fires after 6PM. Even during the day, our average structure fire response is almost 13 volunteers plus the current 4 paid staff.

      We are also still getting a very solid response on MVAs and other types of fires. EMS response is usually to the point where we are canceling personnel before they arrive on-scene.

      Bottom line we are still seeing exceptional response from our volunteer staff, and we have no need for additional staff. The addition of one additional responder, especially given the numbers we are still pulling, will come at a cost of almost 200K per year.

      While our department is not poor, it certainly would not be defined as rich. IMO, we have safety and operational needs that outrank the need for additional career member per shift, especially when in most cases, we already have a response that is greater than the need with our volunteer staff.

      There are occasions where we could use that extra body, but those situations are rare and certainly not enough of an issue where we need to throw 200K at the problem.

      As I have said before, if that money was going to hire one, and maybe even two additional daytime staff, I would not oppose it (but I would not support it either). Even better, we could add one-two part-time positions and utilize our volunteer staff at part-time rates without having to fund clothing allowances, vacations and benefits.

      The fact is we have a volunteer base which limits the need for full-time staff.

      I strongly disagree that the days of the all-volunteer department are fading. Simple fact is that if more money was put into recruiting and retention, the opposite would be true. There are departments that have proven this to be the case at a minimal per-firefighter cost.

      I guess I also disagree that every department, in a perfect world, would have manned paid staffing. Most communties simply do not need that level of response, esopecialyy given the infrequency of calls. In most of America, even partial career staffing is imply not cost effective and a waste of taxpayer money. In most places, trained volunteers operating in a well-managed volunteer department is still the way to deliver effective fire, and in many cases, EMS transport response.

      And as some of our combo neighbors have proven, hiring personnel does not necessarily improve the department or the response. In fact, their response numbers have dropped since the infusion of greater full-time staffing and despite payrolls 2x-4x our size, they are putting 50% fewer bodies on the fireground, and calling us for mutual aid more often. I would not consider that an improvement.
      Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-07-2010, 10:17 AM.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

      Comment


      • #33
        LaFireEducator-"Spending money on firefighter's salaries is a waste of money and I want to do my part to reduce "wasting our money"."

        I'm not going to debate my worth, or discuss why the department felt that needed another administrative member to take the load of the Deputy Chief. There were tasks that the Chief wanted done that the volunteers-myself included-did not have time to do.

        However, please explain to me why we need to hire additional responders when we average 23 per structure fire and over 30 for structure fires after 6PM.

        As I have stated, I would not oppose 1 additional career member to assist with maintenance and testing during the day shift, as there is a need in that area. But we have no need for additional responders. The numbers back that up.

        And yes, if hiring personnel when there is a strong volunteer base is anti-career, so be it.
        Train to fight the fires you fight.

        Comment


        • #34
          To get back to the original questions.....I live in a small rural town in Maine, so probably alot different that most of you other vols.....we do have a rescue unit manned 24/7, but for fire we are responders.....typically the truck
          (s) toned for will roll out with a driver and maybe another.....pretty much a driver will sign on as enroute to the station(s) so it is known that a truck will be responding....almost all other responders are going direct in POV....In addition, there are a couple of us that will go to the station regardless so there will be a crew, but not always.....typical time for a driver to get to the station ranges depending on time and weather, but usually it is at least 5 minutes - maybe up to 10 - from first tone......at least we have three districts spread out effectively across the town, so time from station to scene is not much longer than 6 minutes on average......with a direct POV response we almost always get a command set up well before an engine arrives on scene.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
            LaFireEducator-"Spending money on firefighter's salaries is a waste of money and I want to do my part to reduce "wasting our money"."

            I'm not going to debate my worth, or discuss why the department felt that needed another administrative member to take the load of the Deputy Chief. There were tasks that the Chief wanted done that the volunteers-myself included-did not have time to do.
            You always have excuses when it's your salary on the chopping block, but you have no problem rationalizing not hiring or eliminating career positions, as long as your job is secure. I know several departments that send their volunteers to achieve instructor and come back and train other volunteers. Thay have no problem keeping up with training. The also do not have a training officer's salary chewing up their budget.

            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
            However, please explain to me why we need to hire additional responders when we average 23 per structure fire and over 30 for structure fires after 6PM.
            Did you not just justify your job because it is what the Chief wants? If the Chief wants another paid fire fighter, and the district can afford it, who are you to second guess the Chief.
            I really could careless what happens in Bossier Parish, since it does not effect my departments, I just want to continually expose you for what you are, a self loathing, hypocrite who has two sets of standards, one for yourself and one for every other career fire fighter.


            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
            As I have stated, I would not oppose 1 additional career member to assist with maintenance and testing during the day shift, as there is a need in that area. But we have no need for additional responders. The numbers back that up.

            And yes, if hiring personnel when there is a strong volunteer base is anti-career, so be it.
            How gracious of you. I am truely touched. So it is OK to have a person that will scrape and paint, but you have no need for someone who will run calls?

            Comment


            • #36
              We are primarily a Volunteer Department with Minimal Career Supplimentation -

              Career Coverage is only during the Weekdays from 6am to 6pm and at most we have one person working after 3pm {Usually a garunteed driver} - If we're lucky enough to have 2 or 3 guys working at the same time they'll roll upon dispatch.

              We are usually given 5-6 minutes to assemble a crew from the time of dispatch which we usually don't have a problem doing. We can roll two pieces with about 4 to 6 members each in under 5 minutes {Average response is 8 to 10 guys during the evening hours and maybe 4 or 5 during the day, depending on the call, and time of day}

              We will roll driver only apparatus after a considerable amount of time. We have additional resourses in our community {6 Fire Companies} that will respond as mutial Aid if nesessary

              Works out well for us.....We do about 800 calls a year and do not run ambulances but will provide EMS to the local Rescue Squad when they start getting busy.

              Comment


              • #37
                How gracious of you. I am truely touched. So it is OK to have a person that will scrape and paint, but you have no need for someone who will run calls?

                Honestly, no.

                Right now we are handling 2 EMS calls with myself and the Deputy Chief in the office, and the shift firefighter working on a maintainence task.

                The only person on the clock on the 2 simultanous EMS calls is the person working the part-time position.

                Just handled a third call at the same time. Only at this point did we need to utilize most of our paid staffing.

                Again, our fulltime people, myself included know we are here for the rating's adminisrative and maintainence/testing requirements, and basically respond only when our volunteer staff is unavailable is sufficant numbers, which isn't very often. I'm actually pretty proud of that.
                Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-08-2010, 04:18 PM. Reason: Call
                Train to fight the fires you fight.

                Comment


                • #38
                  You always have excuses when it's your salary on the chopping block, but you have no problem rationalizing not hiring or eliminating career positions, as long as your job is secure. I know several departments that send their volunteers to achieve instructor and come back and train other volunteers. Thay have no problem keeping up with training. The also do not have a training officer's salary chewing up their budget

                  We actually have several Instructor I's on our volunteer staff. And we even have some Instructor II's.

                  Chief dwecided he wanted part of my job to be the administratyive side of the training program. I handle the daily training and develop new training programs as well. That frees up the volunteer Instructors to do what they do best - Instruct.

                  Did you not just justify your job because it is what the Chief wants? If the Chief wants another paid fire fighter, and the district can afford it, who are you to second guess the Chief.
                  I really could careless what happens in Bossier Parish, since it does not effect my departments, I just want to continually expose you for what you are, a self loathing, hypocrite who has two sets of standards, one for yourself and one for every other career fire fighter
                  .

                  Again, I'm a hypocrite who beleives that there are departments who, if they decide to get off thier butts, aggressivly recruit, compensate and accept volunteers into thier ranks as 100% equals can maintain a lean career force to handle administration and mainatainence, and utilize a well-trained volunteer force for response, can save the taxpayers quite a bit of money. By the way, this model may also improve the overall capabilities of the department.

                  Ya, that's me.
                  Train to fight the fires you fight.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                    We actually have several Instructor I's on our volunteer staff. And we even have some Instructor II's.

                    Chief dwecided he wanted part of my job to be the administratyive side of the training program. I handle the daily training and develop new training programs as well. That frees up the volunteer Instructors to do what they do best - Instruct.
                    So as long as you keep your job it is a lean mean volunteer machine? You do not believe a volunteer given the resources can do your job? Sounds like you have more than qualified fire fighters to handle your job without a pay check. You are doing nothing more than taking money that the volunteers could be using to further their capabilities. Way to go.


                    Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                    Again, I'm a hypocrite who beleives that there are departments who, if they decide to get off thier butts, aggressivly recruit, compensate and accept volunteers into thier ranks as 100% equals can maintain a lean career force to handle administration and mainatainence, and utilize a well-trained volunteer force for response, can save the taxpayers quite a bit of money. By the way, this model may also improve the overall capabilities of the department.

                    Ya, that's me.
                    The sarcasm is a nice touch. Compensate (pay) volunteers to volunteer? Who is lazy? The administration or the volunteers? You mean your department does not 100% accept the volunteers and treat them as equals? I am shock that any department you would belong to would not have the utmost respect for fire fighters, whether volunteer or career. There are models that run 100% volunteer without paid administrative staff, and do a great job. I guess without your guidance the department would simply come apart.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      The sarcasm is a nice touch. Compensate (pay) volunteers to volunteer? Who is lazy? The administration or the volunteers? You mean your department does not 100% accept the volunteers and treat them as equals? I am shock that any department you would belong to would not have the utmost respect for fire fighters, whether volunteer or career. There are models that run 100% volunteer without paid administrative staff, and do a great job. I guess without your guidance the department would simply come apart.

                      And where did I say that?

                      Volunteer Chief and volunteer Asst Chief with full authority over FT Captains. Volunteer Captains with full authority over full-time firefighters.

                      Volunteers with the the same standing and opportunities to go to advanced classes. In some cases, even more.

                      Our career members know their role. It is to support the volunteers and handle the admin and maintainence do the volunteers don't have to. It works quite well here.

                      There are departments in this area where volunteer chief officers are ignored by career captains. there are places around here where volunteer career captains are not given the same authority or responsibility as career captains. There are places around here where career firefighters are ignore volunteer captains. There are places where the volunteer automatically fall below the full-time staff for every training opportunity, even if they are better trained. There is even one combo department where volunteers are not allowed to drive or respond on extrication calls, and another one where the volunteers ability to drive is severly limited. That's where the system doesn't work, and those are my neighbors.

                      If you treat the volunteers like equals they will respond and train harder. if you don't, they won't
                      .


                      There are models that run 100% volunteer without paid administrative staff, and do a great job. I guess without your guidance the department would simply come apart[/COLOR]

                      Yes there are, in much larger and more urban places than here. Quite honestly, I was shocked when i saw the run volume of the districts that have full-time staff. Up north there are VFDs that run 4=5x the volume with an all-volunteer staff. I am learning that it's a different mentality down here regarding the role of the VFD and it's reserved for much smaller communities than up north.

                      The volunteer doesn't seem to have the drive to manage the show down here than they do up north in comparable communities. At least that's my perception

                      And I very much wish the same would occur here, but I have accepted the fact that it probably won't. The rating is too damn important, and we could never maintain the rating we have without paid staff with the culture we have, in terms of the long history of paid staffing in small departments, in this area. In a perfect world, the volunteers would step up and assume the management roles that would be vacated if all the full-time personnel were terminated, but they are simply not used to that with the exception of a few .
                      In addition, the size of the district, and the fact that we cover Camp Minden, which has become an administrative sinkhole, would make an all volunteer admin quite difficult. Now if we could dump the responsibility for that facility, it would be a possibility but it has become a political football that would cause some serious waves if we decided to cut ties.

                      Could it be done if we let go of Camp Minden. Maybe, but I don't see it as happening unless the community would accept a slightly increased rating and reduced EMS delivery.

                      Up north, I have no doubt that a volunteer department could easily cover this area and easily manage the likely multiple small departments that would be likely responsible for it. The culture is quite different as there is a history of volunteer responsibility that does not exist in this area, which has gotten quite used to paid staffs, primarily for admin and rating functions, in districts that I would have considered too small for paid staffs before moving down here.

                      That is not an excuse, but it is an unfortunate fact.

                      And as far as my guidance, this department has run quite well long before I arrived and it will run quite well long after I leave. Except for the pubed program, of course.

                      Bottom line is you have your feelings about me as anti-career. So be it. There are places that full-time firefighters are simply sucking up the public's money, and they could be replaced by volunteers who could provide fine fire protection.

                      In your mind, I'm one of the sponges. In my department's mind, I'm not as they felt a volunteer couldn't or wouldn't do the jobs I have been tasked. I really don't have an opinion.

                      What started this discussion was the role of volunteers in a large, primarily career department in an area that appears to have both rural and urban components. There are those of us who feel that a volunteer component in this situation can be very useful in both limiting the number of career firefighters required, thereby limiting the cost of fire protection to the public, and providing a likely increased number of responders when compared to an all-career department.

                      There are also those who feel volunteers should have a greatly reduced, or no role, in such a department. They beleive that career firefighters are the answer even though in low-volume areas they are not generally a cost effective approach to fire protection. Much of what is happening seems to be driven by the union, and the desire of career firefighters to see the volunteers disappear. One likely respons to this will be the increase in the number of career firefighters hired, which will obviously benefit the union.
                      Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-08-2010, 07:46 PM.
                      Train to fight the fires you fight.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                        [B]
                        Bottom line is you have your feelings about me as anti-career. So be it. There are places that full-time firefighters are simply sucking up the public's money, and they could be replaced by volunteers who could provide fine fire protection.

                        In your mind, I'm one of the sponges. In my department's mind, I'm not as they felt a volunteer couldn't or wouldn't do the jobs I have been tasked. I really don't have an opinion.
                        In my mind, as you put it, you are someone who comes on this forum and spouts his opinion that career fire fighters only do the job for the money. Yet you see no problem holding a career position doing exactly what you condemn. If your department can afford you, and that is what the Chief feels is the best way to spend his payroll budget, more power to him. While "sponging", your word not mine, you would happily eliminate all other paid positions. You have stated as much repeatedly across this forum. I just get tired of your anti-paid slant when you fully benefit from what you have contempt for.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Acklan View Post
                          In my mind, as you put it, you are someone who comes on this forum and spouts his opinion that career fire fighters only do the job for the money. Yet you see no problem holding a career position doing exactly what you condemn. If your department can afford you, and that is what the Chief feels is the best way to spend his payroll budget, more power to him. While "sponging", your word not mine, you would happily eliminate all other paid positions. You have stated as much repeatedly across this forum. I just get tired of your anti-paid slant when you fully benefit from what you have contempt for.
                          I would happily see all paid positions, including mine, in my department eliminated if there was a desire by the volunteers to assume all management and rating-related functions. I would love to see my department, as well as all other departments our size, revert back to all-volunteer status, but I know that's not going to happen because the culture of this area is a combo, not all-volunteer departments for districts of our size.

                          If the Chief decided to let me go tomorrow, and leave everyone else, that would be fine as well. I could easily return to my previous gig and make more money than what I make now, and yes, I would still volunteer on my off-days and do what I could do in terms of pubed. I didn't seek this job or ask for this job, and i thought long and hard before taking it. While I enjoy it, there are cons that I have experienced and honestly, there are many days I prefer to doing it strictly as a volunteer. It's really not the best job in the world, though I do enjoy it the majority of the time.

                          The fact that I do not support the hiring of an additional firefighter per shift does not make me anti-career. The fact is the need for that one additional person is so minimal that I see the funds better used for recruiting and retention, and possibly some hardware purchases as well. The volunteer base makes the need for those additional career firefighters unecessarry 95% of the time.

                          The fact is it could be done, but would require the parish EMS service to likely add at least 2 more ambos per shift (parish wide)and at least 2 sprint cars to assume some of the EMS response load we currently carry. It would also. more than likely drop our rating by at least 1 full point if not 2. So there would be costs associated with such a move.

                          There is no doubt in my mind that in the long run, an all-volunteer fire department is the best way to deliver fire services to a light-density surburban, small town or rural community. There are even meduim and heavy density surburban communties where the demopgraphics currently do support an operating VFD or would make an all-volunteer department a either currently working or viable option to career or combo departments. Not only are they far more cost effective, but they offer the community opportunities for community involvement that can't be matched by any other type of volunteer organization, and can serve as a great source of community pride. Yes, in a perfect world there would be far fewer career positions out there.

                          And show me where I said all career firefighters are mercenaries. There are those who genuinely care about the fire service, and those are the ones that generally volunteer in thier home communities if they operate a VFD. And there are those who simply show up, and make little effort to improve themselves unless it's required.

                          And yes, I did refer to those who choose not to volunteer in their home communities if it's covered by a VFD as mercenaries, and I stand by that statement. I have little need and little if any respect for career members that choose not to help out at home.

                          I think we have both said what we need to say on this subject.
                          Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-09-2010, 01:05 PM.
                          Train to fight the fires you fight.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Department profile: small village under 2,500 residents, 76 square mile first due area, total population served about 6,000, 36 volunteer firefighters, one station, primarily unhydranted rural district except for the village, apparatus: engine, pumper-tanker, rescue-engine, tender, brush truck, and car, approximately 100 responses per year, firefighters respond to the station to staff apparatus with extremely rare exceptions

                            1) How many respond on your first out unit,

                            SOG's: Depending on call type different units are first due(i.e. vehicle call rescue-engine first due, rural call engine first due, in town call pumper-tanker first due), minimum staffing is suggested to be four on first unit, two on subsequent additional units, we want a minimum of two apparatus responding with three desired

                            SOG was written to account for lower daytime staffing, average 8-10 firefighters 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., however if people are available trucks can be filled (5 for engine and pumper-tanker, 10 rescue-engine). Having at least two apparatus puts us in a decent position for routine calls (mva's, brush fire, alarms etc) anything larger we are part of MABAS and pull a box alarm for mutual aid.

                            2) What is your response time on average. Not a guess, but your communition's dispatcher's time between dispatch\page, and en router (not arrival at the station. Unit is in "D" and moving.)?

                            Average response time is under five minutes to wheels rolling on first apparatus, time from page to wheels moving

                            3) Do you man your volunteer station(s) with volunteers, (not career or contract FFs) 24\7 or do your fire fighter\EMS respond from their house\job?

                            All responses are from home/work, unless meeting, training, maintenance, or other station activity. We have no assigned shifts.
                            Last edited by Rhinofire; 09-09-2010, 09:20 AM. Reason: clarification

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Rhino, our coverage area and response time is very simular. We have a little more travel time since we have to go through the City to get anywhere, but we are simular. We operate with 29 (26 right now) from two stations.
                              A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                                I would happily see all paid positions, including mine, in my department eliminated if there was a desire by the volunteers to assume all management and rating-related functions. I would love to see my department, as well as all other departments our size, revert back to all-volunteer status, but I know that's not going to happen because the culture of this area is a combo, not all-volunteer departments for districts of our size.
                                I did not say leave you position I said volunteer. Then again you believe only an all volunteer force applies to everyone else and since you are indispensable you should be exempt.
                                If given the opportunity you would be surprised what a volunteer can do, but then again no one but your can do what you do.


                                Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                                If the Chief decided to let me go tomorrow, and leave everyone else, that would be fine as well. I could easily return to my previous gig and make more money than what I make now, and yes, I would still volunteer on my off-days and do what I could do in terms of pubed. I didn't seek this job or ask for this job, and i thought long and hard before taking it. While I enjoy it, there are cons that I have experienced and honestly, there are many days I prefer to doing it strictly as a volunteer. It's really not the best job in the world, though I do enjoy it the majority of the time.
                                So what you are saying is you will not take the high road and live by your convictions? You are going to use the excuse "What the Chief wants" rather than practicing what you preach, resigning as a full time member and all the benefits that go with it, and doing the work for free (volunteering). You will not do that will you? Way to go Chief.

                                "Don't do as I do, Do as I say do!"

                                Comment

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